After the success of their first volume Ophélie Gaillard and Pulcinella propose a second disc devoted to Johann Sebastian Bach's most talented and surprising son, Carl Philipp Emanuel (1714-1788). The Sinfonia in C major expresses multiple emotions, ranging from irrepressible suffering in the Adagio to joyous release and insouciance in the concluding Allegretto, tinged with near-Mozartian grace. The Cello Concerto in B flat reveals the influence of the waning Baroque era and Vivaldi in particular.
A portrait, on the tercentenary of the composer's birth, of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), probably the most gifted of the sons of Johann Sebastian Bach. Highly admired in his own century by Haydn, Gluck and Mozart, he stands out today as a brilliant and highly original composer. For CPE Bach, music had to be an expression of personal feelings and to achieve his aim, he revolutionised the established principles of form, harmony and rhythm. The Trio Sonata 'Sanguineus und Melancholicus' is a rarity in the composer's output in that it is a quasi-programmatic work. It presents a conversation between one sanguine (first violin) and the other melancholic (second violin). The same duality is found throughout the recordings presented here, from the well-known Sinfonia No. 5 to the two brilliant cello concertos. Under the bow of cellist Ophélie Gaillard, at the head of the Pulcinella Orchestra, these pieces come as a revelation!
The legendary Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire specializes in the 19th century and has turned to recording Bach in his eighth decade, apparently for the first time. All you can say is that it was worth the wait. His Bach is typically restrained, not unaware of the long tradition of Bach piano performances, but decidedly unlike anyone else's approach. In general, Freire is pianistic without applying a lot of pedal.
Steven Isserlis and Richard Egarr here assemble all the viola da gamba sonatas written by three composers born in the propitious year of 1685: one each by Handel and Domenico Scarlatti, and three by JS Bach. Isserlis plays them on the gamba’s modern cousin, the cello, and the microphone loves his playing, picking up all the nuances and scampering asides from his soft-spoken instrument which can sometimes get lost in big concert halls. Egarr on harpsichord matches Isserlis’s eloquence and rambunctious energy all the way. The dreamy, airy slow movement of Bach’s Sonata in G minor brings telling use of vibrato as Isserlis circles around Egarr, his playing at once idiomatic and soulful. An extra cellist reinforces the bass line in the Handel and Scarlatti, in which the composers give the harpsichordist only a framework; Egarr’s imaginative realisations ensure that even when Scarlatti is at his most repetitive, he is never dull.
The Bach Reflections project was started 2012 by Gerard Kleijn and Dick de Graaf in order to search for another level in Bach's music by connecting it to the Jazz music of our time. In Ed Verhoeff, Paul Berner and Larissa Groeneveld they found like minded musicians, who were willing to investigate Bach's music and search for new ways of interpreting the message of Johan Sebastian Bach. The musicians of Bach Reflections rearranged compositions of Bach, or just took small elements of Bach's music and build new compositions or improvisations around them. The result is a very charming and musically satisfying rendition of what Bach could have sounded like had he been born in Kansas City in 1920 instead of Eisenach in 1685.